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Herbert Smith Freehills has more than doubled the size of its disputes practice in Germany, with the hire of two Corporate Crime and Investigation (CC&I) partners and a team of seven other lawyers and forensic experts. 

Partners Dr Helmut Görling and Dr Dirk Seiler will join the Frankfurt office, with their team, from litigation boutique Acker, Görling and Schmalz (AGS Legal) and will start on 1 May 2016. They will be responsible for establishing and growing Herbert Smith Freehills CC&I practice in Germany.

Helmut, who is one of the leading compliance and investigations practitioners in the market, founded the law firm Görling, which later became Görling, Acker and Partners, and then AGS Legal as it is known today. He has strong experience in internal investigations and the recovery of missing money in the case of embezzlement, fraud and insolvency. Previous to his career as a lawyer, Helmut reached a senior rank in the police force, where he specialised in fraud.

Dirk has been acting as an advisor in major cases of economic crime since 2001, focusing on cases concerning corruption, breaches of trust, embezzlement and fraud.

Their addition to the firm will bring the German dispute resolution practice to five partners and a total of 16 lawyers. International arbitration heavyweight Dr Patricia Nacimiento will join as a partner on 9 May 2016 in Frankfurt, where she will work alongside Disputes & Arbitration partner Dr Mathias Wittinghofer. The Düsseldorf office opened in February 2016 with market leading arbitration and disputes specialist , focussing on construction, Infrastructure and commercial arbitration, Thomas Weimann, formally of Clifford Chance.

This is the latest in a string of high-profile hires amid rapid growth in the firm's German practice. Since opening in Frankfurt and Berlin in 2013, the firm has expanded to three offices – with the recent addition of Düsseldorf – and grown from one partner to 13, and a total of more than 70 people.

Germany Managing Partner Ralf Thaeter commented: "We are delighted to welcome the market-leading Compliance & Investigations team, led by specialists Helmut Görling and Dirk Seiler, to the firm. This appointment is a significant step towards building one of the leading dispute resolution practices in Germany."

Global Head of the Disputes Practice Justin D'Agostino added:  "As Europe's largest and strongest economy, Germany is naturally a key market for the firm, especially in light of our strategy to grow our EMEA platform. Our new CC&I offering in Germany will greatly enhance our ability to offer a full German disputes service to clients both domestic and from across our global network."

Helmut said: "Being part of the leading global Corporate Crime and Investigations group at Herbert Smith Freehills is a fantastic opportunity for us. We will be able to service our clients even better in the future and advise them with the highest level of quality and expertise – also with regards to increasing cross-border activities. The strength and quality of the firm's global network is unrivalled and we will now be able to offer a comprehensive range of expertise from one point of contact."


About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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Dr Dirk Seiler photo

Dr Dirk Seiler

Partner, Germany

Dr Dirk Seiler